The relationship between marijuana and hemp usually brings about jitters among policymakers when it comes to the legalization of hemp products. With the 2018 Farm Bill, the federal government legalized the farming of industrial hemp. However, the bill also allowed individual states to make up their own laws regarding hemp and CBD. As a result, many states took different measures to regulate the use of CBD or cannabidiol. As the demand for CBD legalization increases, the laws concerning medical marijuana and CBD continue to change.
So, is CBD legal in Virginia? This is the primary question this article will focus on answering.
What is CBD?
Also known as Cannabidiol, CBD is one of the many cannabinoids found inside the cannabis plant and its varieties, marijuana and hemp. Along with THC, the substance responsible for the psychoactive effects after consuming weed, CBD is the most abundant compound in it. However, unlike THC, CBD it’s non-intoxicating and also, more often than not, legal. What defines it as legal is the distinction between marijuana and hemp, from which CBD primary comes. Hemp contains only trace amounts of THC, and, by required federal limits, the level should remain at 0.3% or below.
CBD became popular recently due to the purported therapeutic benefits it has. These supposedly include anti-anxiety, anti-inflammatory, seizure-suppressing and analgesic effects.
The Uses of CBD
Scientific research on CBD is ongoing. So far, results hint to it potentially having many therapeutic effects which we will categorize in two sets:
Mental Health Effects
Research suggests that cannabidiol can potentially help with mental health. Stress, depression and anxiety affect millions of individuals worldwide. Thanks to its chemical structure, CBD appears capable of inducing a calming effect on people dealing with said conditions. So, for example, if you tend to feel nervous during important meetings or speeches, a bit of CBD before the event could help alleviate the anxiety. Also, individuals battling insomnia can derive from taking CBD as well. Do note that less than stellar sleep can take a toll on your productivity and function throughout the day. If it happens on a daily basis, it could substantially diminish the quality of your life and also lead to increased anxiety and depression. One thing to note about CBD is that it does not have intoxicating effects.
In Virginia, many individuals believe that this compound is extremely useful in managing different types of pain in the body. This appears to be especially true regarding inflammation coming from both injuries and immune response.
The Endocannabinoid System
The body has the Endocannabinoid System or ECS, which regulates a lot of bodily functions like
- Immune function
- Nervous functions
- Pain response
Your body naturally produces cannabinoids, those are endocannabinoids. These then bind with the ECS’ cannabinoid receptors, the interaction apparently results in the delivery of the mentioned effects. For example, and according to research, CBD’s binding to a specific receptor and its effect on it brings about reduced inflammation and pain relief.
After reading about all these alleged effects, it’s natural for anyone in the Commonwealth of Virginia to wonder ‘is CBD legal in Virginia?’ Before answering, lets see why the substance is sometimes illegal.
Why Is CBD Illegal in Some States?
The 1970 Federal Controlled Substances Act created a schedule for different drugs considered illegal due to their potential for abuse & addiction. Under the Controlled Substances Act, all forms of the cannabis Sativa plant, including hemp, became a Schedule 1 controlled substance. This defined cannabis as having high potential for abuse, likely to be addictive and of no medicinal value.
The 2018 Hemp Farm Bill legalized the farming and production of hemp. It did so by changing the legal definition. Nowadays, hemp is cannabis that doesn’t contain more than 0.3% of THC by weight. Marijuana, on the other hand, is cannabis containing more the 0.3% THC. Hemp-derived cannabidiol thus was no longer a Schedule I substance. However, CBD extracted from marijuana is still a Schedule 1 controlled substance on a federal level, so it’s still illegal.
In addition, the 2018 Hemp Farming Act gave some authority over CBD to the FDA. Specifically, the labeling, use of the substance as a food additive, and therapeutic claims. The FDA took a solid stance against allowing hemp-derived CBD to become additives to food and beverages. The agency is in the process of re-evaluating some regulations on CBD products.
History of Cannabis in Virginia
When it comes to recreational marijuana, Virginia still maintains that the use of the plant for that purpose is illegal within the commonwealth. However, early in the year 2020, Virginia quietly decriminalized the possession of less than one ounce of cannabis.
Curiously, the state has a longer history when it come to medical marijuana. Technically, Virginia did make medical marijuana legal as early as 1979. They ruled that practicing physicians could prescribe medical marijuana to patients with glaucoma. It also included cancer patients dealing with the side effects from chemotherapy. However, the law was completely non-functional for many years due to marijuana itself being Illegal at a federal level. The state government did not make amendments to correct the contradiction until much later.
When the 2014 Farm Bill came in effect, the entire country began to reconsider the commercial potential of industrial hemp. It first became a crop for research with many state having pilots researching programs. Then in 2015, proposals HB 1445 and SB 1235 passed, setting an affirmative defense regarding the passion of CBD Oil and THC-A Oil for epilepsy. Lawmakers were starting to differentiate hemp, from which CBD comes from, and cannabis.
The overall legal status situation federally and locally along with regulatory back and forward is enough to make you ask, is CBD legal in Virginia today?
So, Is CBD Legal in Virginia Today?
Along with the decriminalization of the possession of less than one ounce of cannabis, Virginia also adopted the federal standard for industrial hemp during April, 2020.
Nowadays, you can come across hemp- derived CBD being legally sold over the counter throughout the commonwealth. As long as they contain a maximum of 0.3% THC, they are completely legal within Virginia.
To make sure that CBD and hemp products meet the legally accepted THC level, manufacturers send them to 3rd party labs for testing. These facilities are unrelated to the manufacturers and are almost always ISO or FDA certified. After testing, the seller has an obligation to let buyers know the results by posting them on their website and in the label. This so that they can be certain they’re buying a product compliant with the law.
Keep in mind that the lab test results depend on the test sample size. Some manufacturers tend to test each batch, and this makes the results more accurate than those tested only once in a while. The best CBD manufacturers control the production process from the farm to the packaging. This way they can make sure that the marijuana strain they use as a raw material has low THC content before turning into a product that makes its way to you.
Where to Buy CBD In Virginia
Most people, especially those who are new to this domain, wonder where they can get CBD products in Virginia. Fortunately, this is an easy question to answer. There are numerous stores and clinics from which you can purchase CBD products throughout the state. Also, you can get these products direct from the manufacturers or online dealers, after which you can have them shipped to your place of residence.
Since cannabidiol is legal in Virginia, the primary question isn’t one of availability but rather, of quality. When it comes to assessing the quality of a CBD product, it is imperative to mention that poor CBD quality isn’t a primary issue as it is in places with more restrictive laws and regulations. The CBD market in Virginia is open, and with a free market, rogue operators tend to be weeded out because of competition.
There are a few steps you as a buyer can always take to ensure you get the highest quality product. The most vital one is to ascertain that you get your CBD from a dealer or manufacturer that tests with a reliable independent laboratory.
Also, you might want to take the time to check whether the CBD seller or manufacturer is part of the American Hemp Association. When a seller is a member of it, they get an extra layer of accountability regarding their CBD products’ quality.
Is CBD Legal in Virginia? – The Takeaway
To summarize, you can safely purchase CBD products in Virginia if it comes from the hemp plant due to its low THC content. However, marijuana-derived CBD, even for medical reasons, are still illegal in the commonwealth. The only legal medical cannabis in Virginia is cannabidiol extracted from hemp plants.
CBD has been shown to have seemingly many potential health benefits and it has become more popular over the last couple of years. Thus, if you are in Virginia right now, it’s good to know that it is legal for consumption in the commonwealth. As its uses evolve, so will the laws and regulations concerning its consumption nationwide. We got a lot to look forward to.
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